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Michael Livingston


A cross-sectional experiment was performed to determine if the novelness of a stimulus and the conditionality of its presentation would have any effect on the subjects¹ mindfulness and divergent thinking. Age and gender differences were also considered. Seventy-two high school and seventy-two college students were randomly assigned to one of six conditions. Each subject was given either a novel or familiar stimulus which was designed by the experimenter either unconditionally, conditionally, or not at all, and each was asked to produce a list of possible uses for the object. The length of each list and the variety of responses were measured and compared. The results showed no significant differences between the experimental conditions, genders, or age groups; nor were there any significant interaction effects. Possible explanations for the results were discussed, and suggestions were made for future research.

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